About the Bereavement services department

The Bereavement services department operates across the Trust, offering advice and support to staff and parents in dealing with end of life issues and related difficult situations.

It comprises of three elements:

  • Bereavement support
  • End of Life Care group
  • Child Death Helpline (CDH)
The Bereavement services department aims to be a point of contact for anyone working in the Trust, requiring support in caring for a dying child and after the death of a child.

End of Life Care group

The End Of Life Care group meets regularly to develop core standards for issues around death and dying and to monitor implementation of an end of life care pathway.

It also seeks to enable staff who already have strong professional links with the children and families in their care to identify, address and support decision-making choices.

Child Death Helpline (CDH)

To lose a child is the most devastating experience any parent has to face. In England and Wales alone, 13,000 children under 19 die each year. Over 15,000 young adults in their twenties and thirties also die, and grief is no less intense for the surviving parents of an adult child in their 40s or 50s. CDH helps thousands of these people every year.*

The Child Death Helpline is a freephone service for anyone affected by the death of a child of any age, in any circumstance, however long ago.

The CDH offers a confidential, safe and supportive environment within which a caller can talk openly about the child’s life and death. Callers are given the opportunity to freely express their worries and the sometimes powerful and raw emotions they may be feeling.
The CDH is staffed by volunteers all of which are bereaved parents. The Bereavement department are responsible for the training, supervision and practice of the volunteers.

The CDH is operated in partnership with the, Alder Hey Children’s Hospital NHS foundation Trust in Liverpool. There are also established links with voluntary, charitable and statutory organisations and government departments.
The Queen's Award was given to Child Death Helpline Volunteers in June 2008.

*(Source: Office for National Statistics Figures 2009)